As times change so too change is needed, and as far as NSC Chairperson Dr Vetumbuavi Veii is concerned, the current Namibia Sport Act of 2003 is outdated and needs to be amended to accommodate all athletes across the board.
Veii was speaking during a breakfast press conference at Nice Restaurant in the capital yesterday, where Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) through their King Lager beer brand sponsored N$250 000 towards the ‘Celebrate Your Own’ boxing bonanza being hosted by the MTC Nestor Sunshine Boxing & Fitness Academy on May 7th.
The highly anticipated boxing bonanza will be headlined by Namibia’s IBO Super Bantamweight World champion, Paulus ‘The Rock’ Ambunda, who will face current Interim WBA Super Bantamweight world champion Moises Flores from Mexico in a title unification bout at the Ramatex Hall.
Responding to a plea from the academy for the Namibia Sport Commission (NSC) to come on board and financially assist in staging the historic boxing bonanza, Veii said as much as the Commission understands the importance of supporting such a big fight that carries great national interest – unfortunately the current Namibia Sports Act of 2003 does not make provision for the NSC to financially support professional athletes, it provides only for amateur athletes.
“This is not just a Nestor Tobias boxing bonanza, but it’s a national event that every Namibian should support in whatever capacity. To be quite honest, as much as the NSC would love to help the academy in staging this magnificent fight, unfortunately the Namibia Sport Act of 2003, which is our guiding instrument, does not allow us to financially assist professional athletes,” Veii said.
The academy needs about N$6 million to successfully stage the ‘Celebrate Your Own’ boxing competition, which will be aired live across the continent, as well as Germany, USA and Mexico through SuperSport. So far, only MultiChoice Namibia (with a N$300 000 donation) and NBL (N$250 000) have come on board to support the fight.
“I really think it’s high time we revisit the Sports Act and see how we can amend it in order for it to accommodate all our athletes, be it professionals or amateurs. Because it’s very sad when we have such a big fight of national importance being plugged by financial hiccups and we, as a strong arm of government, cannot do anything to assist our very own athletes to compete, because the Sports Act prohibits us from doing so.
Times have changed and if those changes require us to amend the Act, than lets amend the Sport Act,” he said.